Mar 2017 25


Joanne Hounsell, Voice instructor with Saltwater Creative Arts.

Joanne Hounsell has enjoyed a successful career in music and theatre for the past 30 years. During that time, she has served in leadership positions on all sides of the stage, as an educator, producer and principle artist.

A native Newfoundlander, Ms Hounsell studied at Mount Allison University where she received an undergraduate degree in music and certificate of excellence in performance. She received her Master of Music from the University of British Columbia and an Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto where she studied with Canadian Soprano, Mary Morrison. She continued her theatre training at the Banff School of Fine Arts with Michael Bawtree. Joanne was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio where she performed Drusilla in The Coronation of Poppea directed by Stephen Wadsworth and Susanna/ Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro COC National Tour directed by Duncan McIntosh. She enjoyed her debut on the COC main stage as Stephano in Romeo et Juliette directed by Bernard Uzan and starring Hyei Kyung Hong and Marcello Giordano.

Ms Hounsell garnered praise for her brilliant vocals, artistry and style on both the operatic and concert stage.  In her C.B.C. Debut Recital at the National Arts Center, the Ottawa Citizen reported: “The music went from one pleasure to another. There were four early songs by Richard Strauss that Hounsell did especially well. Sopranos who have the capacity to sing them tend to be quite fond of Strauss’ songs. Hounsell has the capacity, not only to sing them but to make an audience understand why they are so special.”

Her vocal and dramatic talents have secured her prominent engagements with major opera companies and symphonies including the Canadian Opera Company; L’Opéra de Montréal ( Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw); Pacific Opera ( Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Helena in The Turn of the Screw) ; Calgary ( Miss Wordworth in Albert Herring) , Edmonton ( The Mikado, Showboat) and Manitoba Opera ( Tales of Hoffman, The Telephone, The Old Maid and the Thief); Vancouver Opera ( Il Barbiere di Siviglia directed by Glynis Leyshon) National Arts Centre Orchestra ( Carmina Burana)  and the Stratford Festival as Josephine in Brian Macdonald’s critically acclaimed H.M.S. Pinafore.  She has performed as Soprano Soloist with the Victoria Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Seasons, Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH and symphony pops concerts including The Phantom of the Opera. She has performed as Soprano soloist with Symphony Nova Scotia’s Brahms Requiem and “An evening of Lehar” with Maestro Tintner. Ms Hounsell has performed Valencienne in The Merry Widow with Toronto Operetta Theatre and the Regina Symphony; Micaela in Carmen with the Symphony Newfoundland and An Evening of Operetta with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bramwell Tovey. Ms. Hounsell has been featured in a Debut Solo Recital with CBC Radio at the National Arts Centre & as featured artist with CBC Radio Canada at the National Gallery, Ottawa ON. She received the Sylva Gelber award from Canada Council as outstanding musician 1996 and the Maureen Forrester Award for artistic excellence from the Stratford Festival 1992. She has performed Maria in West Side Story with Theatre Under the Stars and the Stephenville Festival as well as Kurt Weill’s Berlin to Broadway with Carousel Theatre  ( Waterfront Theatre) and the Stenphenville Festival with Maxim Mazumbar.

Ms. Hounsell was the Head of Voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and has taught voice at the University of Lethbridge, University of Victoria and Carousel Theatre School ( Vancouver). Recently Ms. Hounsell joined the College of Examiners with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto ON. She has been a member of Canadian Actors Equity for over 25 years and a member of ACTRA, NATS and BCRMTA.

Her students have been recognized for outstanding achievement at the provincial, national and international level as emerging artists and professional artists. The key influences in her life are the love of music, a belief in the importance of the arts, the training of young artists and a passion for nurturing the arts at all levels.